21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference | June 13-15, 2017 | Reston, Virginia

Connecting the Green Chemistry Supply Chain to Design in the Electronics Industry

Symposium Organizers: Michael Kirschner, Design Chain Associates, LLC Member, ACS GCI Governing Board; Leo Kenny, Planet Singular

The products of the electronics industry are rarely associated with green chemistry, but the amount of chemistry that goes into a given product is, of course, enormous. However, the vast majority of it occurs far upstream of the brand of the product on the shelf, so the focus on the upstream impacts of material design at the brand level is generally low, particularly in small and medium sized organizations. This lack of chemistry and chemical engineering expertise in the downstream electronics industry means the industry is simply unprepared to know when and where green chemistry can and should be driven back upstream. Given the severe challenges and impacts of e-waste, as well as the opportunities it presents, existing systems are clearly inadequate to address these issues. In this symposium, we will explore what additional strategies could enable a more proactive lifecycle approach for electronics.

The goal of this session is to focus on how and where the concepts of green chemistry and engineering, along with Alternative Assessment frameworks, methodologies and tools, can be used across the electronics technology lifecycle, from design through end of life. Therefore, these technical sessions will strive to highlight examples that demonstrate the value of taking a proactive, comprehensive and long term view of these issues that involves all key stakeholders.

At the outset of the symposium, we will highlight the current regulatory landscape, key gaps and trends. During the symposium, the questions we hope to address include the following:

  • In a major driver of new material innovation like the electronics industry, how is green chemistry positioned? How can we drive its use in emerging technology development of novel sensors, SOCs, and generally for IoT device applications?
  • How is it understood by those specifying performance requirements (which is what the electronics manufacturers often specify, rather than specific materials)?
  • What forces are driving the need for green chemistry in technology innovation?
  • What expertise is needed today and in the future, and where?